Valentines Day is right around the corner!
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Did you that Valentines Day and Photography have more in common than you think?
Around 200 years ago in Dundee Scotland, a man by the name of James Valentine became a notable photographer producing mostly topographical views but, later became renowned for his picture postcards. He founded a business called Valentine & Sons Ltd. in 1851 and added portrait photography to his repertoire. His business acumen soon gained him great success and had to move to a Perth Rd., Dundee to open a very large printing works. Now, you may think that he was responsible for the celebrated, 14th. February we all know as Valentine’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day but, he probably wasn’t. Most people think the notoriety lies with St. Valentine of Rome who was jailed for wedding soldiers who were not allowed to marry and for preaching to Christians. During his imprisonment it is told that he healed his jailer’s daughter, Asterius and just before St. Valentine’s execution he wrote a letter to her signed “Your Valentine”.
The day was initially associated with romance in Chaucer’s time but it evolved into what we see today with lovers expressing their affections by offering flowers, chocolates and yes, greeting cards known as “Valentines”. In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”. They were also given to children in order to ward off epilepsy, also known as Saint Valentine’s Malady.
Since then, handwritten letters have been sadly, some might say, replaced by greeting cards accompanied by romantic dinners. High schools, in many parts of the world, celebrate the occasion by having dances and balls. It is customary to have a picture taken as a souvenir of the event.